Upon stepping into this charming, mid-century bungalow in Mallorca, Spain, guests are whisked away to the Golden State of California. Designed by Christine Leja, one of the founders of Bconnected Living Concepts, this lively abode impeccably embodies the spirit of Los Angeles in the 1960s.
Brought up in a family of architects, Leja acquired an eye for design from a young age. She develops all of her work—from design projects, to stores, to the company—with the utmost knowledge, bravery, taste, and most importantly, heart and soul. As she said, “I do what I love and love what I do.” It’s her principal design philosophy, and it’s what she lives by.
“Planning, designing, and building living spaces is one of the most beautiful professions, as with each and every new client and project, there is a new challenge,” Leja said. However, with the designing of this particular home, she found herself in a special position—as both the designer and the client. “But what happens when you suddenly do it for yourself? Am I as brave and firm as I am when I create for my client? Do I know what I need, want, or desire?” Leja pondered. “Does this work when the visionary is at the same time the future resident?”
While the process took longer than usual, Leja’s expertise and experience prevailed, and in the end, her persistence paid off. She began her project with a relatively blank slate, “without any rules and styling concepts.” Her only vision was to capture the quintessential L.A. spirit, inspired by a venerable Yucca tree in the garden that reminded her of West Hollywood. “This inspiration carried me through the entire project.”
As she began the process of converting the old building into the modern yet nostalgic living space it is today, Leja focused on opening up the house as much as possible. To achieve this, she took down more than half of the façade and demolished nearly all the interior walls. The result is a light and airy living space, complemented by sweeping views of the surrounding greenery.
Previously low and closed off, the living room now appears open and spacious, enhanced by the 16-foot-high ceiling. To create an ambiance of harmony and connectedness, Leja used the same concrete flooring throughout the entire house—even in the showers. With underfloor heating, she can comfortably enjoy the smooth floor barefoot, even on cooler days.
With mosaic tiles custom-made in Spain, marble from Italy, shutters designed in Poland, and lamps crafted in Portugal, the diverse decor embodies Leja’s sophistication and worldliness. Distinct, vibrantly patterned wallpapers from around the world adorn certain rooms, a playful divergence from the otherwise minimal, white walls. All of this fuses together to create an inspiring and unique living space. “The final result—” Leja said, “Let’s call it ‘potpourri.’”
To perfect her vision, Leja painstakingly gathered collector items, such as antique water-skis. She meticulously searched for and selected each and every piece of furniture, keeping in mind both the home’s functional needs and the corresponding style she envisaged.
An open design, bright colors, and unique embellishments characterize this buoyant bungalow, giving guests a window into the City of Angels from a small island in Spain.